I've been wondering lately what the difference is between being really busy and working really hard. So, I decided to go to Webster's. Here what I found:
BUSY = engaged in action; occupied; being in use (found the telephone busy); full of activity; Bustling (a busy seaport); foolishly or intrusively active; meddling; full of distracting detail (a busy design).
WORK = activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something: a: sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result; the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood; a specific task, duty, function, or assignment often being a part or phase of some larger activity.
No shortage of things to do and get done! But is what I'm doing making a difference in the world around me...for Christ? I really don't want people to look at my life and see me as BUSY. What I want them to see is someone who chooses to work hard for the Lord. I believe with all of my heart Ephesians 2:10, which says that I've been created in Christ Jesus for good works. I went to my Greek word study dictionary this time and found the Greek definition for works is:
...business, employment, that which any one is occupied; that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking; any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind; an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work.
Sounds just like Webster's definition! Ephesians 2:10 goes on to tell me that before God ever spoke the world into existence, He planned this work for me. WOW. This is true for each one who is in Christ Jesus. This is incredible...it is awesome. The God who just spoke and the world came to be. Come on...speaking the earth, sun, moon and only He knows how many stars into existence. He doesn't need me to get anything done. But He chooses to include me. He wants me to be involved and to be a part of the work He wants to be accomplished. Each one who is in Christ has been placed right where we are. People put within our reach and influence and work planned just for and given to us. What kind of work? GOOD work.
It's been my experience that while the work God has planned for each one of us is indeed good, it is also HARD. VERY HARD. It is also costly. First, you have to be willing to seek the Lord to find out what work He's planned for you and is calling you to perform. Then, He begins to put things on your heart to do for Him and you realize it will require absolute commitment. That almost always means getting out of your comfort zone, leaving what you know and walking blindly (by faith) into the unknown - awaiting further instructions! No sooner do you commit to the work then all kinds of things come at you to get you to stop the work. And, frankly - there isn't much resting until the work is done. Who in the Bible had it easy? Well, I do like the story of Esther and her 6 months of spa treatments! But then again that was right before she could have been put to death.
So, what about downtime? What about "me" time? Time to rest, refresh, play and have fun? It's hard to do when you see all that's going on around you. I say it again - there is a battle raging and we have lost much ground. During a time of war how much down time, me time, rest time, refresh time, play time and fun time does a soldier get? Well, I went out to lunch with my daddy the other day. He just happens to be a World War II veteran so I asked him: "Daddy, what did downtime look like when you were off to war?" You know what his answer was? I loved it. I was blown away by it and I can't stop thinking about it. He answered "waiting." That's right, downtime for a soldier in war is waiting. He explained by telling me they would get up early, get ready, geared up and then sit around waiting for the trucks to take them where they were going. They'd get to where they were going and wait for their orders. They'd march 20 miles and then wait flat on their backs until it was time to march again. He told me that every or month "or so" they would get a 3-day pass but couldn't go far on a 3-day pass. Depending on where you were it might mean not having a lot of options. The goal of the 3-day pass was so the soldier would rest, refresh and return to fight some more. Winning the war was of utmost importance.
Yep, it's good to get a 3-day pass every other month or so. You know, a little down time SO THAT I can return to fight another day! It's not only good but it's important nd do you know what refreshes me? Having dinner with my husband, being in the presence of those who love the Lord and love to talk about the Lord. I'm renewed when I spend time in the presence of those who love me for who I am! And you know something else? I'm now viewing those times of waiting as downtime. I'm serious! To take a few moments during the week when I might be waiting in a doctor's office, traffic, airport or grocery store line to refresh myself. Rather than talking on the phone, texting or emailing, I think I'll seize the waiting as downtime. SO THAT I can endure hardship, do the work, fulfill my ministry assignment (2 Timothy 4:5).
Now is the time when active Christian soldiers are needed. What do you think of the below...
Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. (1 Timothy 1:18)